One of the coolest parking garages in America just got cooler

The Lexington Parking Authority (LPA) in collaboration with CDP Engineers are proud to announce the completion of a stormwater treatment system in the Helix Garage. Last year, LPA was awarded a LFUCG Stormwater Grant for the project which had a proposed cost of $300,000, with LPA paying 20% of the final cost.

The goal of the treatment system is to capture most of the runoff from the garage as it contains oils, greases, chemicals, and road salts. Prior to the installation of the treatment system this runoff emptied directly into Town Branch.  Now, the polluted water is routed through two 1,000-gallon oil/water separator tanks which filter out impurities before it is released into the Town Branch.

A more visible element of the treatment system is a new area of vividly colored permeable concrete at the center of the Helix exit ramp. This area filters rainwater through a limestone gravel base layer before sending it to the second oil/water separator for additional treatment. This element replaced an area of impermeable concrete and exposed soil with a functional design feature thus adding to the overall aesthetic of The Helix.  (See attached graphic.)

This project allowed LPA to upgrade the existing parking garage while improving the water quality of the stormwater released to the historic and culturally significant Town Branch watershed.  The LPA is a leader in the community and undertook this initiative to demonstrate its commitment to improve our water quality. CDP has been at the vanguard of planning and design with green infrastructure practices in the Bluegrass Region. The final project cost was approximately 20% under the grant estimate due in part to creative design solutions and well executed implementation.   

Lexington’s Stormwater Quality Projects Incentive Grant Program is entering its tenth year of funding projects to reduce stormwater runoff, improve water quality and educate citizens about water issues in Lexington. Applications and more information about the program can be found at lexingtonky.gov/stormwater-incentive-grant-program.

Help us get the word out to vote for the Helix Garage as one of the coolest parking lots in America. The public can vote for their favorite at looking4.com/us/blog/coolest-parking-lots-in-america. The winner will be announced later this summer.

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Image of Helix Parking Garage at night with pink lights